Australia - 2010 - Contiki and Aussie Explorer
Australia Travel Blog› entry 1 of 40 › view all entries
Good evening. This is start of my blog. I have nothing to write yet as I have not left for my trip yet. Leaving on April 16th 2010
For Australia, going to be a great time. Starting in Sydney then catching a tour with Contiki in Darwin for the Outback and East Coast
Ending in Sydney. Then heading to Melbourne to take in a Australia Rules Football game. Going to be good times. here is the contiki plan of the trip.
Aussie Explorer - Contiki
Start in Sydney
- Darwin & Litchfield National Park Day 1
Meet up with your fellow travellers and Contiki crew before heading out to stunning Litchfield National Park.
Then we hit the famous falls that make up the park â�� 4 waterfalls pour over a wide plateau into deep, picture-perfect waterholes surrounded by thick rainforest. Experience this natural playground and take a dip in the transparent waters.
Later, we return to Darwin. Check out the cityâ��s cosmopolitan food markets right on the beach. Itâ��s a cultural melting pot where you can try almost anything at an affordable price. Take your pick from oysters, Asian foods, and Indian curries to name a few and top it all off with a night out on the town with your group.
- Darwin to Kakadu National Park Day 2
Today, we hit the Darwin Museum and find out about the unlucky past of the Northern Territoryâ��s capital.
Later, we travel to Australiaâ��s largest national park, Kakadu, known for its ancient rock art, some of which is up to 20,000 years old.
- Kakadu National Park Day 3
We spend the day exploring some of this 20,000 sq km World Heritage listed site. Itâ��s packed with swamps, rainforest, wetlands, woodlands, plants, insects and 75 different types of reptiles.
Our included boat cruise takes us out onto Yellow Water, a lush inland lagoon. Youâ��ll see some rock art, birdlife and even learn about the Aboriginal history of the area.
We get the background on local indigenous culture at the Warradjan Cultural Centre before we explore the â��rock galleriesâ�� of Ubirr, where time-old paintings line the cave walls.
- Kakadu National Park to Katherine Day 4
Kick start the day by cooling off in the swimming hole at either Edith Falls or Gunlom, deep in the heart of the national park.
In the afternoon, we arrive in riverside Katherine. Thereâ��s an optional cruise through the gorgeous Nitmiluk Gorge. This National Park serves up vivid orange cliffs and rock formations that have been carved out by the river over hundredsâ�� of years. Keep an eye open for fresh water crocs and learn about local wildlife and folklore from our Local Guide.
Back in Katherine, your Tour Manager will organise an optional dinner tonight, so you can relax by the pool.
- Katherine to Tennant Creek Day 5
This morning, we pull into Mataranka Thermal Springs where you can have a swim in the thermal pools at a bush resort, where the mineral waters are a comfortable 34 degrees.
Next up: the oldest pub in the Northern Territory, Daly Waters, licensed since 1893. Check out the knick-knacks and memorabilia that cover the walls of this Australian institution. Grab a bite to eat here and maybe meet a local character or two.
We overnight in Tennant Creek, a â��true blueâ�� Aussie outback town, where youâ��ll get a feel for the size of Australia. In the middle of nowhere, this town is the only point of contact for the million acre cattle stations of the surrounding area.
- Tennant Creek to Alice Springs Day 6
As we leave the site of Australiaâ��s last gold rush, weâ��re on to the Devils Marbles. This afternoon we arrive in Alice Springs for a visit to the Alice Springs Desert Park.
- Alice Springs to Kings Creek Station Day 7
Jump start the day by learning more about surviving in the bush with our optional Bush Tucker tour. Our expert Aboriginal Guide will fill you in on the dos and donâ��ts of life in the bush and youâ��ll even get to taste insects and plants if youâ��re adventurous.
Next up: Kings Creek Station. This working camel station serves up a real bush experience. Tonight, â��go bushâ�� and sleep under the open sky at our overnight bush camp where youâ��ll see the desert sky light up with thousands of stars.
- Outback bush camp
- Kings Creek Station to Uluru Day 8
After packing up camp, we hike through Kings Canyon.
Your Tour Manager will tell you all about the incredible rock formations and show off this scenic landscape. Navigate your way through the â��Lost Cityâ�� (a series of giant sandstone domes) and hike to the â��Garden of Edenâ�� â�� a gorge packed with palm trees and a shaded water hole.
Back on the coach, we drive by ancient Mt Connor for 360 degree views over the red desert before arriving at Yulara Resort. This environmentally designed resort is all about the outback and has a pool for you to cool off in after the drive.
Tonight, catch the sun set over the UNESCO World Heritage listed Uluru (Ayers Rock. If you all put in some change, you can grab some nibbles and a bottle of champagne to toast this amazing view.
- Uluru Day 9
Start off the morning nice and early and watch the sun rise over this iconic natural wonder from the viewing area.
Get familiar with Uluru when your Tour Manager takes you around its base and gives you the background of the spiritual significance of this site for Aboriginal people.
For something different, choose an optional Harley Davidson ride or scenic flight.
Learn more about indigenous culture at the Cultural Centre before visiting Kata Tjuta, which means â��many headsâ�� â�� this spot is famous for its 36 different rock formations.
After sunset, you can kick back beside the pool at the resort, wander around town or just hang out with your friends.
- Uluru to Alice Springs Day 10
Itâ��s an easy-going start to the day today. Your Tour Manager will cook up a storm for breakfast, so load up on bacon and eggs.
We swing by a traditional Australian roadhouse and then pull back into Alice Springs.
Tonight, join the group for an optional dinner at the Overlander Steakhouse, where you can try out kangaroo, crocodile, camel and steak while listening to live Aussie folk songs.
- Alice Springs to Cairns Day 11
This morning we have sightseeing of Alice Springs, taking in ANZAC Hill and seeing the Old Alice Springs Telegraph Station. Later youâ��ll board your flight to Cairns to begin your East Coast adventure.
- Cairns Days 12 and 13
Wake up to the warm waters of Cairns. For those who are keen for a fun and thrilling ride on the rapids of the Tully River, join our optional white-water rafting adventure activity with our professional Local Guides.
There are loads more activities available in Cairns like hot air ballooning, sky diving and bungy jumping â�� just ask your Tour Manager for some more info.
In your free time on the first night, walk around the buzzing night markets. Itâ��s the perfect place for shopping and with everything from fun, kitsch treasures to local crafts like boomerangs and didgeridoos. Thereâ��s something for everyone.
On Day 2, thereâ��s another chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef on an optional day trip. Put on your snorkel gear and check out colourful fish, turtles, vivid coral and the incredible clear waters.
Your second night in Cairns is the last night on tour for some of the group so head down to a local hot-spot for a farewell dinner if youâ��re up for it.
- Day 12
- Cairns to the Whitsundays Day 14
Relax on the coach as we cruise past thick, tropical rainforests into Tully, home to some of Australiaâ��s best white-water rafting.
Slowly leaving the tropics behind us, we hit Townsville for some free time. Check out the colonial buildings and get a feel for its maritime past as we drive to the downtown pedestrian-only area where you can grab some lunch.
See vistas over Magnetic Island, a National Park and bird sanctuary, before we continue our travels south and board a boat out to stunning Daydream Island in the Whitsundays.
As we cruise, soak up the crystal clear waters, white sands and mountain peaks of the islands.
- The Whitsundays Days 15 and 16
After an included continental breakfast, day 1 is a free day to enjoy the picture-perfect Whitsundays.
If youâ��re keen to explore further afield and see the UNESCO listed Great Barrier Reef first hand, choose our optional trip to the Outer Barrier Reef. Our fun Local Guides will kit you out with snorkel gear and show you around this natural wonder.
Otherwise, slow the pace down, kick back and make the most of the fantastic facilities available at the resort. Go for a rainforest walk, swim in the pool, get into some beach or water sports, try your hand at fish-feeding, catch a film at the big outdoor cinema or laze about on the beach. Resort (B)
On day 2, get away from it all with our optional day sail. Check out some of the Whitsundayâ��s 74 islands from the boat â�� youâ��ll soon understand why this region is so famous. Experience what is known as one of the top ten beaches in the world, the uninhabited Whitehaven Beach.
Swim off the boat and play beach volleyball or cricket with the local skipper and crew before enjoying a tasty lunch and a few drinks on the way back to Daydream Island.
- Day 15
- Day 16
- The Whitsundays to Country Homestead Day 17
After a ferry back to the mainland, plug in you MP3 or chat with friends as we drive through scenic Mackay, with countryside full of vibrant green vegetation and sugar cane plantations. Continue down the Capricorn Coast and head inland to an authentic country homestead, right in the heart of Queenslandâ��s cattle country, for our overnight stay.
During our time at Langmorn, a working cattle station, youâ��ll experience a taste of real Aussie country life. The farmer will show you around the enormous property in a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on the farm. Then taste local hospitality tonight as your welcoming hosts pile your table high with a hearty roast dinner.
Later, have a go at whip cracking under night lights and if itâ��s cool, settle in around the bonfire, kick back with a drink and hang out with your new friends.
- Country Homestead
- Country Homestead to Fraser Island Day 18
We drive back out to the coast this morning after breakfast and jump on board a ferry. Enjoy the cruise out to famous Fraser Island, where weâ��ll stay at an eco-lodge for our time here. Each cabin has its own kitchenette and living room, as well as a balcony â�� perfect for hanging out & watching the sunset.
Tonight, feast on our included buffet dinner at the Dingo Bar with the group and follow it up with some dancing or even karaoke.
- Eco Lodge
- Fraser Island Day 19
Experience a slice of paradise on Fraser Island today. This UNESCO World Heritage listed site is the largest sand island in the world and is 800,000 years old. Packed with around 40 fresh-water lakes, lush rainforests and diverse wildlife, Fraser Island lives up to its amazing reputation.
Thereâ��s a regular shuttle from our accommodation down to the main resort area, so you can take off and explore at your own pace.
With optional Fraser Island day tours, our Eco-Rangers will show you some of the islandâ��s best spots and hidden treasures â�� make sure you keep your camera handy â�� this is one of Australiaâ��s most beautiful regions. Head along 75 Mile Beach and make a stop at the gorgeous freshwater lake, Lake McKenzie, where you can have a swim.
If its whale season and the conditions are right, thereâ��s a half day tour out on Hervey Bay, where you can see these incredible animals in their natural habitat.
With a free night, you could join your Tour Manager for drinks at sunset and a meal down by the water.
- Eco Lodge
- Fraser Island to Surfers Paradise Day 20
Once weâ��re back on the mainland, Noose is up next. Itâ��s a trendy beach resort town. You could go local and grab some fishâ��nâ��chips to take down to the beach for lunch or head to the Surf Club for a bite to eat.
We also stop off in Brisbane today. Youâ��ll get a feel for the capital of Queenslandâ��s laid-back atmosphere when we have a look around town.
Thereâ��s an opal presentation here where youâ��ll learn all about Australiaâ��s national gemstone. Have a go at rock-cracking and maybe even pick up a piece of opal to take back home.
Tonight, we pull into legendary Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coastâ��s party hot spot and home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world.
Grab some of your new friends and join the party atmosphere of Surfers Paradise tonight. With loads of restaurants and buzzing nightlife, thereâ��s something for everybody. Head to the happening Orchid or Cavill Avenues, where clubs and bars line the street or shoot some pool at the pub.
- Surfers Paradise Day 21
With a free day, hang out among the bronzed bodies and surfers on the golden sands. Our hotel is only a short walk from the beach.
For adrenaline-junkies, thereâ��s an optional tandem skydive, where you can get your thrills and an amazing birdâ��s eye view over the area. Otherwise, try out some kayaking or even a Harley Davidson ride â�� your Tour Manager can help you get the most out of your time here.
You could also hit the shops â�� Surfers has some great places to shop and a huge outlet mall for bargains, so get some tips from your Tour Manager.
Tonight, thereâ��s the chance to experience â��Draculasâ�� â�� a fun vampire-themed cabaret show and dinner. Watch dancers, singers and comedians perform as you tuck into a three course meal.
- Surfers Paradise to Coffs Harbour (Surf Village) Day 22
This morning, we visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where youâ��ll get up close to Australiaâ��s amazing native animals. Cuddle a koala, feed the kangaroos and see wombats, emus, crocodiles, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and colourful birds. You can feel good about doing this too, as our visits to this not-for-profit organisation go towards the sanctuaryâ��s animal hospital and help over 4000 injured animals every year.
Next up: gorgeous Byron Bay. With a laid-back lifestyle, cute little shops, organic food, alternative therapies and around 30km of pretty beaches, itâ��s a must see. Byron Bay is also known for its incredible marine life. Head out to Cape Byron, Australiaâ��s most easterly point and see dolphins and humpback whales if youâ��re lucky, then grab some lunch back in town and maybe take a swim at the beach.
Later we arrive in Coffs Harbour, home to surf beaches, fishing and banana plantations. This is a chance for a real Aussie experience â�� weâ��re staying at a Surf Camp. Our cabins are right on the beach, so soak up the surf vibes and relax by the open fire under the stars tonight.
- Surf Village
- Coffs Harbour to Shoal Bay (Port Stephens) Day 23
Jump start the day by hitting the waves & learning to surf with some professional instructors as you have a go at Australiaâ��s national sport in a fun optional activity.
This afternoon, we arrive in the popular holiday spot of Port Stephens, known for its boating, fishing and warm hospitality. Stretch your legs with a walk along the beach. Tonight, toast your travels with your group, Tour Manager and Driver over a typical Aussie BBQ dinner and kick back with a few local beers.
- Shoal Bay to Sydney
Then off to Melbourne for a few days. Going to be good.
View more information at my travel blog i.e. www.excitingworldtravels.com